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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

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CONTINUATION  OF THE PILGKIMAGE.                                     85
him fainting with i thirst/ and revived him with a draught of water.    Then
still bearing due north the pilgrims come to Khadira-ban,   Hhe acacia grove,1"
in Khaira 5 Kumar-ban and Javak-ban in Jau, where Krishna tinged his lady's,
feet with the red Javak dye, and Kokila-ban, ever musical with the voice of
' the cuckoo*; and so arrive at the base of Charan Pahar in Little Bathan, the
favoured spot, where the minstrel  god  delighted most to stop and play his
flute, and where Indra descended from heaven on his elephant Airavata, to do
him homage, as is to this day attested by the prints of the divine : feet' charan*
impressed upon the rock.
They then pass on through Dadhi-ganw, where Krishna stayed behind to
divert himself with the'milk-maids, having sent Baladeva on ahead with the cows
to wait for him at Bathan : and so reach Kot-ban, the northernmost point of
the perambulation. The first village on the homeward route is Sessai (a hamlet
of Hathdna), where Krishna revealed his divinity by assuming the emblems of
Narayan and reclining under the canopying heads of the great serpent Sesha,
of whom Baladeva was an incarnation ; but the vision was all too high a mystery
for the herdsmen's simple daughters, who begged the two boys to doff such fan*
tastic guise and once more, as they were wont, join them in the sprightly dance.*
Then, reaching the Jamima at Khel-ban by Shergarh,t where Krishna's tem-
ples were, decked with * the marriage weath* (sihara), they follow the course of
the river through Bihar-ban in Pir~pur? and by Chirghat in the -village of Siyara,
where the frolicsome god stolej the bathers' {clothes1 (cfoV), and arrive at Nand-
ghaL Here Kanda. bathing one night, was carried off by the myrmidons of the
sea-god Yaruna, who had long been lying in wait for this very purpose, since
really so many. They all swarm with troops of monkeys. On the eastern border the jungle is
of more ordinary character, with ragged pitu and fenja trees and karll bushes; but to the west,
where a pretty view is obtained of the temple-crowned heights of Barsanain the distance, almost
every tree is accompanied by a stem of the ami, which here grows to a considerable height and
scents the whole air with its masses of flower, which both in perfume and appearance much
resemble the English honeysuckle. Adjoining the village is a pond called Kishori-kund and two
temples, visited by the Ban-jatra pilgrims, Bhadon sndi 9.
* According to the Vishnu Puiana, this transformation was not effected for the benefit of
the Gopis, bat was a vision vouchsafed to Akrur on the bank of the Jamuna the day he fetched
the boys from Brinda-ban to attend the tourney at Mathuri.
f This is a curious specimen of perverted etymology, illustrating the persistency with which
Hindus and Muhammadans each go their own way and ignore the other's existence. The town
unquestionably derives its name from a large fort, of which the ruins still remain, built by the
Emperor Sher Shah.
j In the Vishnu Pur ana this famous incident is not mentioned at alL